Stories: Conflict

  • Suharto Museum Celebrates Dictator’s Life, Omitting Dark Chapters

    KEMUSUK, Indonesia — Indonesia’s former dictator looms in bronze over the entrance to the small museum set amid the palm trees and emerald rice fields of central Java. Depicted in a military uniform and peaked officer’s cap, he radiates calm authority over the village of his birth. To many, the New Order government that Suharto led...

  • Ghosts of Pogroms Past Haunt Indonesia

    JAKARTA — Nearly two decades after anti-Chinese riots tore through this part of Indonesia’s capital, one busy road still bears the scars. Amid the clamor of heat and traffic of Glodok, Jakarta’s Chinatown, a row of shop-houses lies abandoned, an octagonal feng shui tile still attached to a bricked-up window. Across the street, through locked steel...

  • The Church of Duterte

    On July 22, the Philippine Congress extended the martial law, which was first enacted in May, on the southern island of Mindanao for an additional five months. The army continues to battle militants inspired by the Islamic State (also called ISIS) in the regional city of Marawi, and the extension—coupled with the bellicose rhetoric of President Rodrigo Duterte&rsquo...

  • Scenes From Central Asia’s Forever War

    OSH, Kyrgyzstan — Tall and slender, “Muhammad” sits underneath a fast-spinning ceiling fan in a small teahouse in southern Kyrgyzstan as he nervously asks to be identified with a pseudonym. Earlier this year, Kyrgyzstan’s security service, the GKNB, and local police officers detained and questioned him and some of his friends. They asked about their alleged...

  • ‘Our Future Will Be Violent Extremism’

    AKTOBE, Kazakhstan — A quiet Sunday morning came to an end on June 5, 2016, as 27-year-old Dmitry Tanatarov led a group of 25 young men in what would become Kazakhstan’s largest terrorist attack ever. The group, whose ages ranged from 17 to 28, moved quickly down a dusty street in downtown Aktobe, an oil city in northwestern Kazakhstan, and seized weapons from...

  • You’re welcome to visit the longest beach in the world — unless you’re a refugee

    It was a hot Saturday in May when Bangladesh’s prime minister dipped her feet in the ocean. Sheikh Hasina was visiting the beach town of Cox’s Bazar and, like anyone else, she wanted to take a barefoot stroll. The beach runs unbroken along the Bay of Bengal for 75 miles, enough to make it the world&rsquo...

  • Who Bears the Brunt of Thailand’s Crackdown on Migrant Workers?

    It has been more than 10 years since Aye Min fled Myanmar amid the fighting between the military and the Karen nationalist forces. With nothing but the clothes on her back, Aye Min boarded a boat in 2006 and crossed the Moie river to Mae Sot, a district located at the border of Thailand and Myanmar. Now 43, Aye Min lives in a...

  • In Duterte’s Philippines, Resistance is Futile

    Philippines Senator Antonio Trillanes may have expected lighter treatment when he appeared on a recent episode of BBC’s HARDtalk with presenter Stephen Sackur. After all, he has been one of the few elected officials in the Philippines to openly criticise President Rodrigo Duterte, going so far as to file a complaint with the International Criminal Court over the...

  • People cheered the release of Nigeria’s Chibok girls but thousands of others were kidnapped

    In early 2014, Yakinge Kolomi faced a nightmarish dilemma. Boko Haram extremists had recently rampaged through areas close to her village in northeastern Nigeria, massacring men who refused to join them and abducting young women — then forcing them into marriage. Kolomi knew that her 12-year-old daughter, Hafsa, would make an easy target. She listened to friends who urged her...

  • The struggle of women amid civil war, droughts and floods in Mozambique

    ESPUNGABERA, Mozambique - Samere Mashava could not hide his anger and frustration as he narrates how his wife fled from their village in Mozambique’s Espungabera area near the border with Zimbabwe. Mashava’s wife is one of the many women in this part of Mozambique who were forced to flee their homes as a result of the...